Monday, January 24, 2011

Security theater in Moscow

The Russian wires are reporting that the bomb went off outside the security zone of the airport, in the arrivals hall. That exonerates airport security, but it reflects badly on the police, since the bomber must therefore be a resident of Russia.
--Anne Applebaum, Slate, on how airport security didn't help today's bombing victims in Moscow


[T]he coiled, closely packed lines at TSA screening sites are the most dangerous places in airports, completely unprotected from a terrorist attack -- a terrorist attack that would serve the same purpose (shutting down air travel) as an attack on board an aircraft.
--Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic Monthly, on the uselessness of airport security


Russian authorities said at least 31 people were killed and 150 injured in the attack. ... Monday’s explosion in Moscow pointed to the continuing fascination with air travel for militants, as well as the difficulty of carrying out an attack aboard a jet, said Stephen A. Baker, a former official with the Department of Homeland Security. “They’d like to be bombing planes and they can’t, so they’re bombing airports,” he said, adding that the attack “validates the focus that the U.S. has had on security at airports.”
--Ellen Barry and Andrew Kramer, NYT, on how even successful attacks validate TSA procedures

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